ALTON, Ill. – State Rep. Monica Bristow, D-Alton, issued the following statement on Monday:
“After weeks of uncertainty and working remotely, the legislature is reconvening to work on long term solutions to the setbacks caused by the COVID-19 outbreak. We are taking every precaution to ensure that we can get our work done safely and effectively, while prioritizing the health of all the legislators and staff that will be working out of the Bank of Springfield Center this week. Despite these session days looking completely different than a normal day at the capitol, we must take action to provide relief for employers and workers, increase support for municipalities and local health providers, and make the hard decisions necessary to craft a fair and responsible budget for our state.
“While the legislature has been working remotely, I have been serving on working groups focused on health and human services, economic recovery, local government, and mental health and addiction. These bipartisan working groups have helped make progress on these issues, but it is time that we enact solutions to the many issues that our state now faces. Even before the pandemic began, my focus has remained to support middle-class families, pass a fair, balanced budget and work towards affordable and accessible healthcare. In the wake of a public health crisis causing widespread unemployment and financial strain on family owned businesses, these goals are more important than ever.
“This is an unprecedented time for our country and our state, so there will be many hard decisions to make as we negotiate a fair and balanced budget that accommodates the shortcomings caused by the pandemic. Our budget needs to fund critical services like healthcare, education, and emergency services to continue our state’s strong response to COVID-19, but I will be focused on finding avenues to trim unnecessary spending and reprioritizing funds to get Illinois back on track. As a voice for the Riverbend Region, I will be sure that downstate Illinois gets the support we need as we begin to reopen our economy and protect residents as we move forward.”